It looks like war heroes are the heroes of 2021. The most recent entrant into the valorous club are topnotch producer Applause Entertainment (Criminal Justice, Scam 1992) who have joined hands with Drishyam Entertainment (Masaan, Ankhon Dekhi) to co-produce Iftikhar a biopic on Ashok Chakra winner, Major Mohit Sharma.
We can safely say this will be a ‘Major’ biopic.
Speaking on the project, Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Entertainment says, “We had bought rights from co-authors Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh for the stories of war heroes from their book Fearless: Military Stories and Fearless 2: More Military Stories. From these, we filmed Avrodh Season 1, which was based on the Uri attack, we had a good experience with that. The subject of national security fascinates me endlessly. No matter how many stories we do on war heroes, it’s still not enough. I don’t think we can be proud enough of the armed forces and police forces. No matter how many films we make on them, it’s still not enough.”
Sameer is supremely gung-ho on this project. “The story of Major Mohit Sharma is uplifting and empowering. It’s an incredible story of valour and dedication beyond the call of duty. We bought the rights of this story a year ago. When Munish Mundra of Drishyam Films expressed a desire to work on this project with us, I straightaway agreed.”
So are collaborations the way ahead? “Yes, I think so. The business of filmmaking is itself collaborative. We can only up the stakes when like-minded, sorted minds come together.”
Are biopics the flavor of the year? Sameer feels they are. “That feeling of ‘If he or she can do it, so can I’ is a great way to enjoy the movie-going experience. Which is not to say fictional heroes are not popular. Of course they are and they always will be. But at the moment real-life heroes do have an edge. And when it comes to national security, stories of real-life heroes acquire an even larger validation.”
The cast and other details for Iftikhar are yet to be decided. Sameer hopes to start the film in September.
Would it be for the OTT platform or the big screen? “I don’t think cinema can be segregated between the OTT and theatres. The audience and appreciation are the same on both platforms. Our Scam 1992 got the appreciation of any film released in theatres. With 900 million mobile phones out there, it’s all the same audience now. I think there are only two kinds of cinema, good and bad. And I think Iftikhar falls into the good category. We at Applause Entertainment are happy to be collaborating with Drishyam Films and the co-authors Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh.”
Image source: Applause Entertainment
They say the best things in life are free! India’s favourite music channels 9XM, 9X Jalwa, 9X Jhakaas & 9X Tashan are available Free-To-Air. Make a request for these channels from your Cable, DTH or HITS operator.